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Fort Wayne
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Parts of the states of Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio comprise the Wabash Destination in the eastern region of the United States. Wabash, the city after which the destination was named, occupies approximately 9.87 square miles of land in the southern portion of the destination. A Miami-Illinois term—which translates to “water over white stones”—is the genesis of Wabash’s name.[1] It was recorded in the 2020 census that about 10,440 people reside in the city; however, due to the decrease rate, the population has since reduced by nearly -0.44%.[2] With regard to tourism, the Wabash Destination’s most notable city is Fort Wayne. Two particular attractions within the city that receive a considerable number of visitors are the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo and the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. For those who take interest in outdoor recreation, the Salamonie River State Forest provides opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, camping, and hunting.[7] Based on the tourism score, it is recommended that people visit Wabash and the encompassing area between the months of June and September for moderate weather conditions.[5]

What Fort Wayne is known for

The Wabash Destination is comprised of parts of the following three states: Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana. Located in the northeastern region of Indiana is the namesake of the Wabash Destination, Wabash, which currently serves as the county seat. One particular aspect of the city is that it is reportedly the first electrically lit city in the world as of the year 1880. Wabash can be found in the destination’s southern area.[1]

As of 2020, Wabash is home to about 10,394 residents, making it the 78th largest city in Indiana. A decline rate of -0.22% annually presently affects Wabash, and the population has decreased by -0.44% since the most recent census which had recorded approximately 10,440 people. The racial demographics for the city are constituted primarily as white at 96.27% with the second most common race being a mix of two or more races at 1.47%.[2]

One of the most prominent cities within the Wabash Destination is Fort Wayne, located in northeastern Indiana. The city can be found in the southern portion of the destination and it contains a fair amount of tourist draws. A notable attraction in the city is the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo. There, visitors can explore four different representations of foreign habitats, including the African Journey, Australian Adventure, Indonesian Rain Forest, and the Central Zoo. For an additional fee, the zoo also offers a hands-on experience with some of the animals. African lions, clouded leopards, spotted hyenas, southern stingrays, and American alligators are a few animals that one can expect to see during their visit to the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo. The attraction contains several different types of aquatic animals, amphibians, birds, mammals, and reptiles.[3]

Another site in Fort Wayne that tends to receive a number of tourists annually is the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, featuring several exhibits and a variety of programs for visitors. Group tours are additionally available and are led by a staff member of the art museum. Typically these tours last about 30 to 45 minutes. The majority of the artwork that is showcased at the museum is a “reflection of American history.” Paintings, photographs, drawings, prints, and sculptures are displayed throughout the gallery.[4]


Over the course of the year, temperatures in Wabash vary between 20 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit. Summers in the city are fairly warm, humid, and wet, generally speaking. Contrastingly, winters are relatively snowy, windy, and cold. As reported by the tourism score, mid-June to mid-September is presumably the best time of year to visit Wabash, especially for those who plan on engaging in warm-weather activities. Between the months of May and September, the average daily temperature is around 74 degrees Fahrenheit. These months are also considered to be the “warm season.” July is most commonly the hottest month of the year with an average high of 84 degrees Fahrenheit. As for the “cold season,” which is from December to March, the average high drops to about 43 degrees Fahrenheit. The coldest month of the year is usually January as temperatures drop between 21 and 34 degrees on average.[5]

In terms of geographical structure, the Wabash Destination is primarily characterized by expanses of grasslands and forested areas. The topography as a whole is comprised of a fair amount of urban towns and cities as well as a few aquatic land features such as Mississinewa Lake; Salamonie Lake; Lake Wawasee; and the Upper, Middle, and Lower Basin, to name a few. The Wabash River, which flows directly through the city, is the largest southward-flowing tributary of the Ohio River. Extending through cities such as Logansport, Huntington, Wabash, Terre Haute, and Lafayette, the Wabash River forms a 200-mile-long border between Indiana and Illinois, eventually entering the Ohio River in the southwestern corner of Indiana.[6]

About half an hour’s drive from the city of Wabash is the Salamonie River State Forest. A number of outdoor recreation enthusiasts visit this state park for hiking trails, campgrounds, and opportunities for landscape viewing, among other activities. Two campsites are available at the Salamonie River State Forest, one of which is chiefly for horseback riders, and the other for families. Picnic tables, a playground, and a shelter house with deep ovens and fireplaces can be accessed near Hominy Ridge Lake in close proximity to Salamonie River State Forest.[7]


Following, the Treaty of Paradise Spring, which was signed by the Potawatomi and Miami Indians, as well as the U.S. government, the city of Wabash officially opened for settlement in 1826. Due to the process of construction for the Wabash and Erie Canal, it wasn’t until the year 1834 in April that platting first began. A site for the courthouse was made available in the city, thus ultimately making Wabash the county seat. The courthouse’s construction was completed in 1839. After several years, in 1870, a fire burned the courthouse down plus a portion of the downtown area; however, it was rebuilt and business began to increase. Residents and businesses were drawn to the area principally because of the transportation that was made accessible, which included plank roads, the canal, and the first railroad. One of Wabash’s most historically significant events was when the city began operating with the Brush Arc Light in March of 1880. Notably, Wabash was the first city in the world to successfully utilize the system of the Brush Electric Light.[8]

The Wabash Destination’s most prominent city, Fort Wayne, was built by the United States Army in 1794. Fort Wayne was the final fort built among a series of other forts near Kekionga, a Miami village. The city was named in honor of General Anthony Wayne who directed the United States Army to construct the fort. Development of Fort Wayne began at the confluence of St. Marys, St. Joseph, and Maumee Rivers. After the city’s revitalization from the War of 1812, Fort Wayne was then platted in 1823. The completion of the Wabash, Erie Canal, and the railroad further progressed the growth of the establishment as well as the economy. In current times, the city’s economy is supported by distribution, transportation, financial services, healthcare services, hospitality, and financial services. The city additionally serves as a hub for the defense industry as about 1-2% of Fort Wayne’s population is employed in this industry.[9]